At UFC Fight Night 110 in Auckland, New Zealand, J.J. Aldrich (5-2) made her sophomore octagon appearance to take on UFC newcomer Chan-Mi Jeon (5-1).
In her first official UFC bout after appearing on TUF 23, Aldrich lost a unanimous decision to Juliana Lima. In that fight, Aldrich was a short notice replacement. This time around, Aldrich enjoyed a full training camp and her opponent was the one to take the fight on one weeks notice. Chan-Mi Jeon, a 19-year-old prospect from South Korea, filled in for an injured Nadia Kassem. Jeon weighed in at 118-pounds, thus forfeiting 20% of her purse to Aldrich.
After three hard rounds, Aldrich handed Jeon her first professional loss by defeating her via unanimous decision. Aldrich looked much improved since her last fight– specifically in her striking and timing. Despite losing her UFC debut, Jeon showed a lot of promise. Jeon was able to find some late success by brawling rather than using technique, but wasn’t able to sway the judges. At 19-years-old Jeon is for sure one to watch.
So, what’s next for the women of UFC Fight Night: Auckland?
The former Invicta FC vet is young in her MMA career, as well. Aldrich showed marked improvement and will look to put together a win streak with her next fight. The winner of Alexandra Albu vs Kailin Curran, which takes place at UFC 214 in July, would be a good next step for Aldrich. It is likely too early to start picking out the top fifteen, but either Albu or Curran both make for an interesting match-up that will help each women find her place in the division.
At only 19-years-old, Jeon became the youngest star on the UFC roster. With all things considered, it is hard to determine where Jeon should go from here– perhaps a fight with Jamie Moyle will help sort out where each fighter sits. Jeon and Moyle have the same number of professional MMA experience, and they also have styles that contrasing styles that would make for an exciting bout. Moyle would provide a different challenge for Jeon than Aldrich did, and Jeon can look to bounce back with a full training camp.
Fight fans– who would you like to see these ladies square off with next?